Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Procreating Pressure

My father-in-law is an elementary school principal.  He used to be a kindergarten teacher.

My mother-in-law works with early childhood development.

My in-laws lives revolve around little kids.  They want grandkids so, so badly.  The grandkid pressure started up mere months after we got engaged.  6 months before the wedding my FIL told me that he "wouldn't mind a bit if I walked down the aisle with a preggo belly."  At Coach's family's Easter get-together, my FIL publicly pointed out, in front of 50+ family members, that his brother has 7 grandkids and that it isn't fair.  My MIL is even worse.  Every single time we see them they want to know when we're going to provide them with grandkids.  Every single time it is a major focus of conversation.  It used to be funny, but it isn't at all anymore.

To make matters just a little more sensitive, I have known since I was 18 that getting pregnant was't going to be easy for me.  Coach, trying to help with the situation, told his parents all about my previously-private medical condition.  So they know all about it, which makes me really uncomfortable.  And to complicate things, that knowledge that Coach imparted to them has done nothing to abate the baby talk.

I've been very clear with my in-laws that I put my career on hold for their son, and that I owe it to myself to pursue my career for the next 4-5 years.  At that point they told me that "we were your age when we had Coach's oldest sister, and everything turned out just fine, what's the problem."

Nothing works with them.  They keep bringing it up, and bringing it up.  It makes me feel like nothing but a walking uterus.  It makes me feel like I absolutely no value to them except for birthing them a grandkid.  I know they mean well, but they have zero tact when it comes to this recurring conversation.  It makes me want to avoid spending time with them.

Normally with my in-laws, I chalk it up to them meaning well, and wanting the best for us.  I've come to terms with differing parenting styles.  I've stopped taking my MIL's backhanded comments literally and I've learned to give her the benefit of the doubt.  But these people know that I have medical issues that could very prevent me from ever getting pregnant, they know that I have stated very clearly on numerous occasions that Coach and I need to enjoy our time together after a year and a half of a long distance relationship before we introduce kids into the equation.  None of this gets through to them at all; it's so frustrating.  And every time they start in, I think about what's going to happen if I can't get pregnant, and can't give Coach a baby of his own.  Because he's going to be the best dad.

So yeah.  My in-laws won't STF about how they want grandkids like yesterday.  THANK GOD some friends of ours who live up there popped out a kid that she can go and visit.  I feel like I should pay them.

I know the next thing to do would be to bluntly but nicely tell my in-laws to please stop pestering us for grandkids.  But trust me, they do NOT do well with bluntness.  They're the beat-around-the-bush type.  Which clearly ISN'T WORKING.

Are your in-laws/parents on the warpath for grandkids?


  1. You definitely need to sit down with them and your husband and have HIM tell them to calm the eff down about it. This is so inappropriate (yet so common) and it angers me on your behalf!

    You've been more open with them than you need to be about your thoughts and your medical history, it's time to stop playing nice!

  2. Ughhhh I am so sorry. It sounds like you're in kind of a no-win situation. Although you said being blunt won't work, maybe it's worth a shot? Also I agree with Kerry. Coach may need to take the lead on this one.

    Josh's dad started the baby talk in 2007, after we'd been together for almost 2 years (and not yet engaged, mind you.) He and I have a fantastic relationship (I like him and love him more than my own father) so I felt I was able to be really honest. I said, "Brian, it's my uterus, my decision. You will be the first to know when we have kids, but it's not going to be for a LONG time. Josh needs to pay off his loans, we need to enjoy each other and the rest of our 20s. We are not ready. You need to calm down the baby talk." Thankfully it was kind of a wake up call to him and it's very rare for him to bring it up now.

    Honestly, your in-laws are being downright disrespectful and hopefully you and/or Coach can say something to make them realize that (and stop their inappropriate behavior.)

  3. Wow.. How frustrating! My MIL constantly makes comments about how she wants a grandbaby SO badly but she's just pushing my SIL (David's brother's wife) and I in the wrong direction. I finally had to say, 'I'm 21 years old. I'm not ready for a baby and I'm happy to finally just be in the same town as your son. I want him to myself for awhile.' She says she totally understands, but if she did she'd quit making comments.

    I'm actually the one who works in early childhood so I'm with kids all day every day - I don't need one of my own. So of course she makes all kinds of comments about how she's 'so jealous' of my job (since it's so prestigious and all) and how she wishes she could play with kids all day (since that's obviously all I do). Yea. Sore subject.

    ANYWAY - Back to you. Like Em said, your in-laws continuing to push the issue even after being told about your condition is incredibly disrespectful and rude. I'm not sure what to tell you if being blunt won't work - To be honest, even if they're incredibly upset with your bluntness at first it might be worth it to finally get your point across.

  4. That sucks. I would have him lay down the law - your womb is a private matter, between you and Coach only. When & if you decide to have kids, you will let them know. End of story.

    Hahahaha, I'm so harsh. I just get irritated. The talk has started up already for me and the man, and while I don't mind, I always find it rude when people ask me if we're trying to have a baby.

    I always reply, with an absolutely serious face, that we gave it a good long go this morning and we'll try again tonight.

    Like really, STFU and mind your own sex business, people.

  5. I just found your blog and I LOVE it. I recently got married and I wish you lived next door to me so we could talk about how hard being married is sometimes. All your posts sound like just what I'm going through too. Unfortunately my blog is read by my family so I can't post my frustrations because I don't want everyone to think I'm miserable. I really love my husband and I love being married to him, but there are some things that are really hard to get used to.

    If I were you I'd either put my foot down and tell them you're not ready so back the *bleep* off or just not worry about it. If you're not ready, you're not ready. I would love kids now but hubs and I fight a bit too much and so I feel we should wait until we've work our kinks out before we bring kids into the situation. Fighting + kids don't mesh well with me.

    Take care and thanks for your honest posts!

  6. Ohhhh golly gosh! That would drive me insane!

    My Mum wants us to have kids. I'm sure the rest of the parents do too. But they all know that we want to set ourselves up first. I am not having children until I have a home of my own to raise them in. I am very blunt and honest when it comes to most things, and this is one of them. Having babies is one of those things you want to be sure you're ready for before you jump into it.

    Actually, Paddy is the one who is most kids-kids-kids!


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